The Crab Orchard Utility District has begun rehab work to restore the water tower on top of Renegade Mountain. The tower has been empty, rusting and offline from the water system for several years.

It was ordered offline several years ago by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Several legal cases began at that time.

“We actually took over the water system July 1. It’s going to be a lot more stable. Getting the tower back online is a big deal and will be a good start to the new system,” Everett Bolin, Crab Orchard Utility District general manager said.

Bolin said the rehab work started about a week ago and will take another two weeks to complete.

He said a new main water line will also be installed to bring water up the mountain, but that won’t happen until early next year some time.

“We still have to have the engineering and design work done for that project,” Bolin said.

Crab Orchard Utility has supplied water to Renegade Mountain residents for several years through the Laurel Hills Water System.

Earlier this year the Tennessee Public Utility Commission, formerly known as the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, approved a settlement agreement between the commission and water utility systems, transferring the Laurel Hills water system to Crab Orchard Utility District.

The Crab Orchard Utility District board of directors approved the settlement and accepted operating the water system once repairs are complete.

The settlement ended six different lawsuits involving Laurel Hills Condominiums Property Owners Association, Moy Toy, LLC and several other property owners on Renegade Mountain.

According to the settlement agreement, “The Laurel Hills Water System, including all of its assets and property, whether real, personal, tangible, intangible, and all accounts, receivables, contracts and rights, shall be conveyed to Crab Orchard Utility District and shall become a permanent part of the water system operated, maintained and controlled by Crab Orchard Utility District. 

“In order to facilitate a smooth transition of ownership of the LHWS, LHWS, through its court-appointed receiver Receivership Management Inc., shall make all records related to operations of the water utility available to COUD on the effective date. Records shall include, but are not limited to, current customer list with contact information, accounting records, maps and schematics of the LHWS, and any and all records necessary for the efficient management of the LHWS.”

Bolin said the only suit the Crab Orchard Utility District was involved in regarded the receivership of the water system.

Bolin said the Crab Orchard Utility District will run the new system once it’s complete.

He said Southern Corrosion Inc. water tank care of North Carolina is performing the rehab work on the water tower on Renegade Mountain.

Gary Nelson may be reached at gnelson@crossville-chronicle.com

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